Lowe's Fernandez Racing Prepares for Challenges of Sebring The American Le Mans Series kicks off its 2008 season with one of its signature events -- the 56th Annual Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring. Lowe's Fernandez Racing drivers Adrian...
Lowe's Fernandez Racing Prepares for Challenges of Sebring
The American Le Mans Series kicks off its 2008 season with one of its signature events -- the 56th Annual Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring. Lowe's Fernandez Racing drivers Adrian Fernandez and Luis Diaz will be preparing for their second career starts in the historic race, one of North America's premier endurance classics.
Fernandez and Diaz captured their best result of 2007 at Sebring last March, netting a second-place podium finish in LMP2 class competition and third-place overall in their ALMS debut.
They return to the challenging road course with a new vigor, the result of a change to the Acura ARX-01b chassis this season. The move makes Lowe's Fernandez Racing a full Acura-factory effort joining the Acura-powered teams of Andretti Green Racing and Patron Highcroft Racing, which campaigned the ARX chassis last season, and newcomer de Ferran Motorsports.
* Circuit -- 3.7-mile permanent road course
* Saturday's race will be 12 hours with a 10:05 am EST start
* A driver may not drive more than eight hours total in the race, and cannot drive for more than four hours in any six-hour period
* ALMS points are determined based on the length of an event with Sebring awarding an additional six points to first through 10th-place finishers
* Sebring marks the debut of the team's new equipment package -- the #15 Lowe's Acura ARX-01b LMP2 prototype
* Fernandez and Diaz will share driving duties -- a third driver will not be utilized
* Diaz temporarily relocated to Fernandez's residence in Scottsdale, Ariz., last month so the pair could train together for Sebring and the start of the season; their intense fitness program also included rounds of boxing
* Lowe's Fernandez Racing last tested at Sebring on February 21, completing a three-day outing
* Fernandez and Diaz claimed the first of three podiums in 2007 at Sebring
FERNANDEZ ON THE START OF THE SEASON: "I am very excited for the season to begin particularly because of this new car. The results of our tests have been extremely promising, and we are coming to Sebring with a strong package and great partners in Lowe's and Acura. Having said that, Sebring is just a different animal altogether. I can't begin to add up the miles that I have done in testing, but a 12-hour endurance race here gives you a whole new perspective. Despite our great result last year, I left frustrated because we were just not fast enough (to win). From what I've seen in our pre-season testing, I am very encouraged for this weekend."
DIAZ ON SEBRING: "By far, this is one of the most difficult tracks that I have driven on but at the same time it is exciting to drive. I watched a lap of the track from a helmet camera that I had on during a recent test, and it was amazing. It was a new point of view on just how super-bumpy and super-fast this track is and what not only the drivers but the equipment has to endure. It is a great challenge and that's why our finish here last year meant so much. As a team, we have been doing everything we can to go for wins this season. Adrian and I have been working hard on our physical conditioning, and I am really, really excited about our Acura chassis. I am looking forward to a great year."